For the ultimate insider experience, follow Hotel Amigo’s concierge to some of their favourite places in Brussels. Step into a city brimming with fine antiques, delicious artisanal chocolate and extraordinary Art Nouveau architecture.
The opulent Grand Place is the beating heart of this historic city. Its show-stopping Gothic spired city hall takes pride of place, surrounded by rows of ornate guildhall facades and a vast cobbled square. By day, you’ll find a flower market and a lively café culture, while after dark the Grand Place is enchantingly illuminated.
Explore the mind-bending archives of Belgian Surrealist artist, Rene Magritte at the Magritte Museum. Featuring an astonishing archive of over 200 of his best works including The Return and The Harvest, the museum hosts an eclectic array of paintings, sculpture, drawings and photographs.
This elegant pocket of Brussels is awash with antiques and art each weekend, when a market arrives in town. You’ll find beautiful silverware and charming timepieces to peruse at the stalls, as well as artisanal chocolatiers, pretty pastry shops, sophisticated boutiques and quaint cocktail bars in this historic neighbourhood.
Those with even a passing political inclination will be captivated by a trip to the Parlamentarium, the European Parliament visitor centre. It’s a highly interactive experience where visitors can get a panoramic view of Europe and its parliament in their cinema, take a virtual trip through the continent, or simply learn about the legislative process.
For stylish shopping, make a beeline for the Dansaert district. Here, trendy boutiques like A.P.C. and Maje sit alongside large designer emporiums. For cutting-edge fashion visit Stijl, where you can shop for Vetements and Dries van Noten. Make a pit-stop at the lovely AM Sweet tearoom for homemade baked treats.
ART NOUVEAU AND ART DECO
Brussels is the capital of Art Nouveau, and one of the best ways to discover this romantic, decorative style is with a stroll through the city streets. Admire Belgian patron of Art Nouveau, Victor Horta’s architecture by visiting Hôtel Tassel and The Solvay House, and explore his mosaics and stained glass at the Horta Museum. For luxurious Art Deco, Villa Empain is a must-see.
COMIC STRIP CENTRE
From the Smurfs to Tintin, Belgium is the comic strip capital of the world. Discover the magic of these characters at The Comic Strip Centre. Housed in a majestic Art Nouveau building near the Grand Place, the temple to cartoons takes you on a journey back to their past whilst celebrating their present. Children will love the 3D Smurf village and adults will adore being transported back to their childhood.
Despite being built in 1958, the Atomium still looks like it’s from the future. The extraordinary structure of polished silver spheres is the most iconic landmark in Brussels, but as an exhibition space dedicated to architecture and design shows, the Atomium has plenty to offer inside, too.
ART NOUVEAU © visitbrussels/Jean-Paul Remy
ATOMIUM © Christophe Licoppe/Befocus
COMIC STRIP © Daniel Fouss/BCSC
DANSAERT © Stijl
GRAND PLACE © iStock/vichie81
MAGRITTE MUSEUM © Royal Museums of Fine Arts Belgium
PARLIMENTARIUM © Flickr/Cedric Puisney
SABLON © visitbrussels/Jean-Paul Remy